Seattle considers new Airbnb regulations limiting hosts to 2 properties

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SEATTLE - Seattle's City Council says it wants to put a nightly tax on residents who run short-term rentals like those on Airbnb.

The proposal would limit hosts to one extra rental property in addition to their own primary residence.


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The city says the goal is to "balance the economic opportunity created by short-term rentals with the need to maintain supply of long-term rental housing stock available at a range of prices."

In other words, the city is concerned that those who own multiple properties and are using them as Airbnbs could hurt the availability of both affordable housing as well as real estate and rental inventory.

The proposed ordinance would would tax hosts $10 for each night of a rental.

It would also put in place a short-term rental operator's license. Hosts would be charged $75 a year in addition to a required business license that is already required.

If hosts don't follow the regulations, they could be fined up to $500 a day.

Airbnb had partnered with hosts in Seattle to argue against the ordinance. An Airbnb representative reached out to KIRO 7 to say the company is now supportive of the draft regulations. Read the full statement below.

If the ordinance passes, the fees wouldn't be imposed until October 2018.

The city says the taxes and fees could raise as much as $6 million a year for affordable housing measures and construction.

Seattle City Council's Affordable Housing, Neighborhoods and Finance Committee may be voting on the ordinance Friday.

Full statement from Laura Spanjian, Airbnb Regional Public Policy Director:

"We are supportive and pleased these proposals will allow responsible Airbnb hosts to continue sharing their homes to help make ends meet, while protecting Seattle’s long-term housing stock. We remain committed to helping our community pay its fair share of hotel and tourist taxes and want to ensure that our community is not being taxed more than guests at the big hotels. We will continue working closely with the City of Seattle on common sense regulations for short-term rentals."

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